We love a good indie anthology, and one of the collections which is getting us most excited at the moment is the Comichaus Monthly Anthology which is currently being Kickstarted. Produced by Pete Genepool and Jim McCulloch, the brains behind the online indie comic store of the same name, Comichaus collects together exclusive stories from some of the UK indie scenes most exciting names into a new ongoing monthly black and white series.
Tell us bit about the new Comichaus Anthology which you are launching on Kickstarter? What was the inspiration for putting together an anthology like this?
Pete Genepool: Comichaus is a marketplace and database we launched last year and have been slowly building up. People can buy and sell their print comic books and contribute to the database. When we let indies sell for free we came across so many talented creators we had this idea. We started this monthly anthology so we could promote the creators and raise the profile of the Comichaus marketplace site at the same time, Hopefully a win win for everyone.
James: Pete is just a machine and once we started talking about ways to help out indie creators get their work seen by as many people as possible, this just seemed like a logical step. Hopefully it’ll help out a lot of creators to be seen by a much wider audience who may not usually pick up their books. The amount of talent out there is ridiculous and we should all be embracing it.
What makes your anthology different from the other indie collections out there?
PG: We are going to be commissioning covers from established artists for one…..We want to promote the indie creators and thought a great way of doing that would be to have the likes of Glenn Fabry doing the issue #1 cover. Will help to raise all of our profiles hopefully….give us a selling point and increase the brand name?
JM: We are also going to be promoting other indie books inside the anthology. It’s not all about us and what we do. It’s about the scene as a whole in the UK. Showing people how many great books are out there that they should be trying out. For some people it’s difficult to know the books worth checking out if they don’t know anything about them.
For those who might not know the name, who and what is Comichaus?
Pete: The name Comichaus came about after a chat with Rich at Raygun Comics in Richmond….a similar vibe to the Bauhaus art movement
How did you get in touch with the various artists and creators? Did you have a wish list of creators you wanted to include?
PG: There is such a strong community that once the word got out we started getting some amazing pages in, we count ourselves very lucky that everyone is so supportive of each other. James has been doing this a while now so he was able to recommend a raft of great creators to work with
James: Yeah, as a writer you don’t really get to work with other writers. So this was just an excuse to work with people I always wanted to work with. It’s the same reason I started The Grime (a horror anthology) but with this one it’s going to be monthly so I can get to work with a lot more people. There’s definitely a wish list of creators and hopefully we’ll be able to get them all involved.
It’s being produced in black and white is that right? Any reason why? Cost or creative?
PG: Bit of both really. There is no hiding with B&W and we wanted to keep it in it’s rawest form. Cost wise colour is more expensive – and as we are paying all our creators page rates we thought best to keep it as B&W….but if it really takes off lets see what happens?
JM: Being a fan of 2000AD in the 80’s it was always black and white. My comics are usually black and white too. There are a lot of great indie books out there in colour but with the costs involved a black and white book is just more of an economically viable project for us right now. As Pete says though, if it takes off then it’s definitely something we would look at.
We love the Kickstarter video (especially the creator profile bits), how important was it for you to create a really striking video to get people interested? And did you give people a brief on how to act or just rely on them to be themselves? (Jon Laight’s is our favourite I think!!)
Pete: We sent them an example of what we wanted and asked for them to be as goofy as they wanted – Jon won……I think a video is key to getting the word across…..creates much more impact and hopefully our one does that? There is a lot of white noise out there so it does get harder to get the word out
JM: Yeah, I had no idea it was meant to be goofy and I just ran about at the start of Edinburgh Comic Con trying to make a video. I hate doing kickstarter videos though, you have to get your personality across, seem trustworthy enough to pull it off and hit people with a barrage of information to make them want to pledge their hard earned cash on a project they’ve never heard of. I think the balance we’ve got in the video really works, thankfully. I now hope that Jon just constantly runs about in a mask. He is the night.
Why do you think indie small press is going through such a strong period at the moment?
Pete: Simply put – there is an awful lot of talent out there – and no matter what it always finds a way through somehow. Everyone is working their asses off and there is a great supportive network
JM: Yeah, a lot of people are working really hard to get their work out there. I think general comic fans are also realising that there is more to comics than the big two. When you add the number of comic cons and marts happening in the UK right now you really start to see how the scene has grown so much in the last few years.
And finally, for those who are daft enough to not read the title of your Kickstarter, will this be a one-shot or an ongoing thing?
PG: We have the first 6 issues all commissioned….it will be an ongoing monthly!!
JM: Yeah, monthly… we must be mental. HA!
Author: Alex Thomas
Alex Thomas is the Editor and founder of PIpedream Comics. He grew up reading comics in the 90s, so even though he loves all things indie and small press, he is easily distracted by a hologram cover.